For the first two films of The Kingsman franchise, writer/director Matthew Vaughn introduced us to the young, troublemaker Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and his mentor, Harry Hart (Colin Firth). Now, in the third film of the franchise, The King’s Man, Vaughn plans to take fans back in time to when the Kingman was first created.
WILL WE EVER SEE THE KING’S MAN?
The King’s Man began filming in January of 2019 with a scheduled release date of November 15, 2019. Filming was completed on time, but the Disney purchase of Fox delayed the release, so it was pushed to February 14, 2020. As COVID began to rear its ugly head, the studio (renamed to 20th Century Studios by Disney) again pushed the release date to September 18, 2020.
Guess what? That date was COVID-pushed again. This time, the prequel was set for August 20, 2021, almost two years after its initial scheduled premiere. Now, it’s been pushed to December 22, 2021, where hopefully it will stay.
What’s not clear is whether it will be in theaters or on streaming services. Currently, it looks like Disney is planning a theatrical release for the December date.
THE KING’S MAN STORY
Sometimes we need to look back to see how we got to this point and for the Kingsman franchise, that is exactly what Matthew Vaughn is doing with The King’s Man. Instead of the further adventures of Eggsy and Harry (fear not, the third in that trilogy is on its way), Vaughn decided to take us to the very beginning of Kingsman by showing us how exactly the British Secret Service came to be.
This story of The King’s Man is set in the early 20th century and by the looks of the trailer, it occurs during or shortly after World War I. As the war is ending, a collection of the world’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds decide to band together to plot a war of their own to wipe out millions. Whether this war is actually World War I or coincides with it remains to be seen. The only thing that may stand in their way is one man and a newly formed agency.
THE PREQUEL’S STARS
Kingsman: The Secret Service had Colin Firth lead the way, with Taron Egerton learning the ropes. The King’s Man will have Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Schindler’s List), as the Duke of Oxford, leading the way with Harris Dickinson as Conrad being taught the tricks of the new trade. The relationship looks eerily similar to the first two movies but one that should resonate with fans.
Another addition to the cast of The King’s Man is Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Lee Unwin. What’s interesting about Taylor-Johnson is that Vaughn has previously worked with him in Kick-Ass. Taylor-Johnson was Dave Lizewski aka Kick-Ass and there had been high hopes that Taylor-Johnson would be the next “big thing” in Hollywood. While he has continued to perform in big-budget blockbusters (Godzilla, Avengers: Age of Ultron), his career hasn’t quite taken off as was projected. But Vaughn is very familiar with the actor and decided he could help usher in the formation of Kingsman. Also joining The King’s Man in what we believe (based on the trailer) to be the side of good is Gemma Arterton (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Murder Mystery) and Djimon Hounsou (Amistad, Guardians of the Galaxy, Shazam!).
What would a Kingsman movie be without a crazy villain? Kingsman: The Secret Service had Samuel L. Jackson. Kingsman: The Golden Circle had Julianne Moore, so it stands to reason that The King’s Man will have its crazy villain. In fact, it looks like there will be multiple foes to fight in this entry. Rhys Ifans looks like he will be chewing the scenery as the evil Rasputin. Daniel Brühl is on board as Erik Jan Hanussen. Also coming to play bad guys are Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, and Tom Hollander.
There is also another addition to The King’s Man, though which character he plays is unknown. That would be Stanley Tucci (The Witches, Beauty and the Beast), who has had many great roles in the past. One of his most comedic “bad guy” turns is the role of Muerte in the vastly underrated crime comedy Undercover Blues. Could he be the shadowy bald villain we see in the trailer? Can’t wait to find out!
A LITTLE KINGSMAN HISTORY
It’s always fun to look back to see how we got here, right? The Kingsman franchise is based on the comic book series of the same name created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Now, The Kingsman wouldn’t be the first time that Vaughn and Millar have worked together, or rather it wasn’t the first time that Vaughn adapted Millar’s work. The first time would have been the movie Kick-Ass. Vaughn wrote, directed, and produced that film, and he also produced Kick-Ass 2.
Bringing Kingsman to the screen, as it turned out, was from a simple drunk night out at the pub for Vaughn and Millar. Vaughn shared the story with IGN, “It started in a pub with Mark, and we were drunk,” Vaughn told us. “We sort of were complaining about how spy movies had become really quite serious. We said, ‘Let’s do a fun [one].’ … Mark went off and wrote a version, and I read it. I was like, ‘F#@k, maybe we should do this for real.’ Then he went ahead, finished the comic off.”
Eventually, though, Vaughn would have to make a very tough decision, one that fans of Kingsman were happy about. “Then I was working on [the X-Men movie] Days of Future Past, and I’d finished the treatment. Then the [Kingsman] script fell out of me — just one of those things. I remember Fox going, ‘What are you talking about?’ because the two scripts came in at the same time. I was like, ‘Aw, s#!t.’ It was a really tough decision whether to do Days of Future Past or do this. But then I was like, ‘F#@k, somebody else is going to wake up and do a fun spy movie. Then I will have written a bloody screenplay that no one will want to make.’ So I probably made the craziest decision of my life to turn down an $800 million gorilla to do Kingsman. But Kingsman‘s more me anyway.”
Two over-the-top, fun, hyper, violent, action-filled movies later and we are ready for more.
THAT CHURCH SCENE
One thing that Vaughn’s Kingsman movies are known for is its hyper-violence. The fight scenes are classic, well-orchestrated, dances of mayhem, brutality, bone-crunching fun. But the one fans talk about the most is the church scene. The one in the first movie that goes above and beyond one could imagine. The one where Harry is turned into a killing machine and wipes out the entire church filled with white supremacist haters that was set to the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird.
It was violent, bloody, brutal, and so much fun. So, the question begs, will The King’s Man grace viewers with something as classic as the church scene? Again, from what can be gleaned from the trailers, there looks to be ample opportunity for just as much mayhem as the previous two films. You can check out the brutally amazing church fight scene below.
We will just have to wait and see if The King’s Man can live up to the hype when it (hopefully) gets to release in theaters December 22, 2021